The dentist may sometimes refer you to our hygienists for a scale and polish. The hygienist specialises in this area and the care of your gums.
Scale & Polish -Why?
To prevent decay- Plaque is a naturally occurring substance that exists on the surfaces of the teeth. When plaque builds up it hardens to form calculus or tartar. Bacteria thrive in the crevices formed by the plaque and calculus, and when combined with food debris lead to increased risk of tooth decay.
To prevent or minimise the effects of gum disease- Once formed, plaque and calculus irritate the gums causing them to become inflamed. This is known as gingivitis or gum disease. Your gums and jaw bone are the foundation for your teeth. If your gums are unhealthy, the bone around your teeth can be lost. Your teeth no longer have good foundations and can no longer be held in place, they become loose and eventually fall out or have to be extracted.
If your gums are more seriously infected, a detailed root planing must be carried out.
Scale & Polish -How?
The hygienist or dentist scales your teeth by using a combination of hand and motorised instruments and polishes your teeth using a high speed brush or rubber cup together with special cleaning pastes. This debris which the dentist or hygienist removes cannot be removed by toothbrush and toothpaste alone.
A lot of water is used to cool the scaling instruments and to wash away the debris as it is removed, a suction pipe is used to suck away the excess water during the procedure.
The scaling of teeth can sometimes be sensitive, especially if your gums have receded and the top of the root of the tooth is exposed. Should you require it , the dentist can give you an injection to numb each area of your mouth to minimise the sensitivity. However this will require more than one visit to the dental practice as it is not possible to numb the entire mouth at one time.